Smell the fresh spring air!
It's been almost six month since the arrival of my second baby boy, and it's time to get back on the ball, and write about my adventures in cooking!
The garden is getting primed and prepped for some new flowers and I'm excited to start my herb garden! Nothing is as nice as having fresh herbs for your dishes, cut minutes before they are to be used!
Clockwise starting from top left: Thai Basil seeds sprouting inside a glass jar; basil leaves atop my almost bare basil plant; backyard patio garden with various herbs.
Spring always inspire me to eat healthier and lighter meals. It must be the fresh colourful veggies and fruits that I know are to come over the next few months.
I have always wanted to learn to make Japanese ramen soup base on my own. How can such a light clear broth carry so much flavour? With the help of my Iron Chef Morimoto cookbook, I was able to use some of his techniques and recipes, and fuse it with my own to create a flavourful and easy Japanese noodles with a Bonito and Kelp based soy sauce soup. This soup is very light, has very little fish flavours, and has wonderful Umami.
You'll find most of the ingredients at a chinese supermarket, or one that would stock Japanese items, such as Bonito flakes and kelp.
Left to Right: Bonito Flakes; Morimoto - The New Art of Japanese Cooking cookbook; Dried Kelp.
Japanese Soup Stock with Soy Sauce
(Recipe inspired from Morimoto - The New Art of Japanese Cooking cookbook, with some modifications)
1 x 5 x 8 in. Dashi Kombu (Dried Kelp)
4 cups Water
1/2 cup Bonito Flakes, loose
2 tsp Ginger, cut into thin strips
1 tsp Garlic, cut into small pieces
2 tsp Shallots, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
4 servings of Japanese noodles, prepared
4 soft boiled eggs, cut in half
Chili flakes, sesame seeds, crushed dried snack seaweed for garnish.
The stock is best prepared and used when it is needed. Use within a few hours of preparation.
1. Wipe Dashi Kombu clean with a wet cloth; be sure not to wipe off all the white residue as most of it's flavour and natural msg is in the white residue.
2. Soak the Dashi Kombu in the water overnight at room temperature in a large saucepan.
3. When ready to use, heat the Dashi Kombu with water over medium heat until it boils. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle on the Bonito Flakes, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain. Set aside the liquids.
4. In a separate saucepan, fry the ginger, shallots, and garlic until fragrant. Add in the Dashi Kombu and Bonito liquid. Add in the soy sauce. Simmer lightly for 10 minutes.
1. Place a small amount of sesame oil on the bottom of each of your noodle bowls.
2. Place in Japanese noodles into bowls.
3. Layer on the shallots from the broth onto the noodles. Pour in some stock into the noodles.
4. Garnish with egg, chili flakes, sesame seeds and crushed seaweed.